Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Boogeyman

I’ve always been a little afraid of the IRS.  In my mind, they’re this ambiguous, shapeless monster that is always trying to trick you.  I don’t let them make me angry, I always say that taxes are the price that we pay to live in the society that we live in, but I feel a little wary of them.  Like they’re the sort-of scary villain in a child’s fairy tale.

When I first opened my business, I had a very embarrassing encounter with a tax guy.  I think he was from the city.  He came to my shop while I was with a client, and announced that I hadn’t been paying my taxes.  I had, in fact, been paying my taxes.  Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, I had hired an accountant to do this for me, and she would tell me what to do, and I would dutifully mail off checks.  Because I knew so little about the process, this felt like another whole language, that also had a super-secret code, and maybe a handshake.

Tax man:  I know you think you’ve been paying you’re taxes, but do you know about the super duper extra special purple xt39760000 tax?  Have you paid that one?

My armpits immediately drench my shirt.  My heart starts racing.  My throat goes dry. 

Me:  Um, I don’t know.  I don’t know what any of them are called.  I, um, just write checks.

After one phone call to the accountant, where she pulled out my file and deciphered code, it was all worked out.  The IRS had me under two different business names, and even though this was their error, by my estimation, I had to file something saying that I only had the one business, and then it was all good.

So today my mortgage guy informed me that the IRS shows me not having filed taxes for three years, and I didn’t freak out.  I know that I don’t speak their language with the super-secret code, but I also know that I have actually filed taxes and paid money just like I’m supposed to, so it will all work out eventually.  I just wish that it were a little easier (3 IRS phone calls, 114 cel phone minutes, numerous tax documents dug out that were already packed, death certificate reading, which I HATE) because this is seriously making me nervous about my closing date looming on the horizon.  Yikes.  Good thing I paid that purple xt tax.


  1. I completely agree and understand. Rob's occasional RBedfordPro work has tax ramifications that seem really piddly until we get a formal letter from the city of Bozeman about what they are missing from us and don't we know we're late?

    Matter of fact, I still don't think we've worked that one out...

  2. Yes, this is the city of Bozeman, and you owe us $1.47. There is a $3 per day late charge, so you might want to take care of that ASAP.